Moraine Valley Community College || Athletics || Women's Volleyball

Women's Volleyball

November 12, 2014

Cyclones finish season with overall success, aiming high for next year

With new leadership and a largely new team, the Cyclones surprised many people this year with positive takeaways following a finish in the NJCAA Region IV semi-finals (Nov. 5).

Going 20-15 overall and 6-1 in conference, Moraine Valley took second place in both the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and the NJCAA Region IV. Considering that nearly all of last year’s starting lineup graduated, those are noteworthy results, said head Coach Mark Johnston, who finished his first year at the helm.

Where the team ran into trouble was the injury bug. Several players were out of position to cover the deficits, particularly on offense, yet the Cyclones were still close in many of those losses. There also was some stellar action from several athletes. Carolyn Yerkes (Marist) was ranked 11th in NJCAA Division II in digs per set with a 6.03 average and additionally was a candidate for NJCAA All-American. She was named to the NJCAA All-Region IV and All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference teams with Carly Trinley (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences). Kayla Manthei (Lincoln-Way North) also was named to the All-Region team. Alex Bojan (Guerin Prep) and teammate Brynn Flannery (Mother McAuley) had nods to the second team All-Conference. Following the conference tournament, Bojan and Yerkes were placed on the All-Conference Tournament team.

Johnston called Yerkes the Kara Kentner—a previous two-year Cyclone All-American—of the squad. “Yerkes was amazing. Without her, we don’t win a lot of games. She’s smart and works her butt off in games and practice,” Johnston said. “Additionally, Trinley is a work horse. She does anything we asked and did it 100 percent. Those two had the best attitudes and is what you want on a team.”

Coming on staff later than anticipated, Johnston was unable to recruit his team this year, but is already on the move for next season. He has top goals and high ambitions. Combine the returners with new recruits, and this year’s losses could easily be wins, he said. As for next season, he wants to pick up where recently retired head coach Gloria Coughlin left off—at the national tournament.

“We came into the season with a game plan and you almost always end up changing it. Injuries and other elements happen. That’s the beauty of volleyball, the team can change and do so efficiently. Volleyball is like chess. We examine what the other team does and react and vice versa,” he said. “I think we surprised a lot of people this year and had overall success. We want to be at nationals next year so that’s how we’re recruiting. We lost some games because of injuries. Now we need to recruit players who will help with offense and get the kills. There’s so much talent around here.”

November 6, 2014

Cyclones take a tumble in semis

There was a bittersweet end to the Cyclones' season Nov. 5 as they lost to Black Hawk College-East in the NJCAA Region IV semi-finals in three straight sets: 19-25, 17-25, 23-25.

Leading the fight for Moraine Valley was Brynn Flannery with 10 kills, two block assists and six digs. Both middles, Shepard grad Jessica Chaput (two block assists) and Alex Bojan (three block assists), recorded eight kills. Kayla Manthei (four kills, 17 digs, 2.8 in serve receive) and Allison Nash (three kills, one block assist, four digs, one ace) each had solid nights. Amanda Host ran the offense with 21 assists while notching two block assists and seven digs. Carolyn Yerkes led the defense with 18 digs while ringing up two aces and passing a 2.63 in serve receive. Carly Trinley had 11 assists and three digs before leaving the game with an injury.

November 4, 2014

Twentieth win and ready for region semi-finals

The Cyclones nabbed their 20th win of the year and advanced to the NJCAA Region IV semi-finals Nov. 3 after a three-set victory over Triton College: 25-21, 25-16, 25-12.

Both teams met in September with a quick Cyclone win. This time around it took the women in green at least one close set before they found a groove and played the way they know how. Leading the way was setter/rightside Carly Trinley, who had 20 assists, five kills on six swings and 12 digs. Carolyn Yerkes once again dominated on the defensive side of the ball, contributing 20 digs, four assists, four aces, and passed a 2.85 in serve receive. Brynn Flannery and Allison Nash each had strong nights offensively collecting eight and seven kills, respectively. Alex Bojan led the team in kills with nine in addition to a solo block and two block assists.

Moraine Valley continues their playoff run on Wednesday at home as they face Black Hawk College-East.

November 3, 2014

Cyclones take third in conference tourney, ready for regionals

In two Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference semi-final games on Nov. 1, the Cyclones split, finished third overall. They’re now ready to keep pushing in the region playoffs.

In the first match, the Cyclones faced McHenry County College, a team they soundly defeated in their prior meeting this season. However, the Cyclones struggled to stop the Scots’ best player, losing 23-25, 25-19, 24-26, 10-25. Alex Bojan led the attempt with eight kills and three block assists. Carly Trinley had a solid all-around game with 17 assists, six kills, two solo blocks, a block assist, and 10 digs. Leading the team in kills was Brynn Flannery with nine. Kayla Manthei had three kills, 11 digs, an assist, a block assist, in addition to passing a 2.4 in serve receive. Carolyn Yerkes had the most digs with 15, and Amanda Host was second in assists with 14.

That loss put the Cyclones in the third place match against Oakton Community College. During the regular season Moraine Valley defeated Oakton in three straight sets and imitated that performance, winning 25-22, 25-21, 25-22. The Cyclones played well defensively with 15 blocks and 65 digs collectively. Amanda Host set the tone with her strong serving, getting four aces while contributing 12 assists and three digs. Middles Bojan (six kills, four block assists) and Jessica Chaput (one kill, four solo blocks, one block assist) both played solid. Brynn Flannery (10 kills, 11 digs, one block assist), Allison Nash (six kills, one block assist), Kayla Manthei (three kills, 14 digs, one block assist), and Carly Trinley (six kills, 14 kills, four digs) also contributed. Yerkes once again led the defense with 29 digs and passed a 2.44 in serve receive.

For their efforts, Yerkes and Bojan were named to the All-Conference Tournament team. The Cyclones now face Triton College tonight in the quarter finals.

October 29, 2014

Cyclones dominate Lancers in quarter finals

The Cyclones charged through the first round of playoffs Oct. 28, soundly defeating College of Lake County: 25-13, 25-14, 25-10.

Moraine Valley dominated the match from the start. Leading the way was Libero Carolyn Yerkes, who recorded 16 digs, six aces and passed a 2.67 in serve receive. Six players recorded three or more kills: Alex Bojan had the team high with 10, Brynn Flannery was right behind with nine followed by Allison Nash (four), Kayla Manthei (three kills, 14 digs, three aces), Jessica Chaput (three), and Carly Trinley (three). Trinley also ran the offense putting up 21 assists while Amanda Host contributed 11 assists and six aces.

This was the last home game for sophomores Manthei, Chaput, Bojan, Flannery, and Jordan Kelley, all of whom were recognized after the win.

The Cyclones will face McHenry County College on Saturday in the conference semi-finals. Having defeated the Scots in their previous meeting this season, the Cyclones are ready to continue their playoff run.

“We have what it takes to beat them again. We know the strengths and weaknesses of the teams that we’ll face,” said head Coach Mark Johnston. “Mentally and physically we are at a great point in the year. We are back to full strength, and the players know what it will take to beat the teams we have coming up. I am excited to see them step it up this weekend.”

October 27, 2014

Three Cyclones earn region honors

It’s award time, and three Cyclones were named to the All-NJCAA Region IV team. Carolyn Yerkes, Carly Trinley and Kayla Manthei received the honors with Yerkes ranked third overall, making her a candidate for All-American honors.

October 24, 2014

No mercy from the Cyclones

It’s always nice to end on top, which is how the Cyclones finished the regular season Oct. 23 before the first round of playoffs begin. There was nothing but domination as they soundly toppled Malcolm X College: 25-9, 25-1, 25-6.

As a team, the Cyclones hit over .500 and served 20 aces. They are now set to compete in the first round of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Tournament on Oct. 28 at home against College of Lake County at 6 p.m.

October 22, 2014

Cyclones battle Panthers for final conference win

The Cyclones took their last conference match after a long and hard-fought battle Oct. 21. Moraine Valley defeated Morton College and its scrappy defense: 24-26, 27-25, 25-21, 25-18.

The back row had a top night thanks in part to Carolyn Yerkes, who recorded 41 digs, four aces, two assists, and passed a 2.55. Three players had double-digit kills: Kayla Manthei (12 kills, 28 digs, one assist), Brynn Flannery (10 kills, 23 digs, one ace, one solo block) and Allison Nash (10 kills, three digs, a block assist).

The Cyclones did a good job of running the offense with Amanda Host (17 assists, five digs) and Carly Trinley (26 assists, two solo blocks, nine kills, 11 digs, and three aces). This game ended the conference run where the Cyclones finished second with a 6-1 conference record.

October 20, 2014

Cyclones end on high note in weekend tourney

It was a roller coaster ride of a weekend for the Cyclones (Oct. 17-18) as they went 2-2 at the Rock Valley Tournament, playing some of their best volleyball all season.

The Cyclones first faced off against conference rival Waubonsee Community College on Friday. The teams had just battled a week prior, but this time Moraine Valley wasn’t on its A-game, losing: 18-25, 15-25, 9-25. Brynn Flannery (7 kills, 9 digs, 2 block assists) led the offense while Carolyn Yerkes (22 digs, 4 assists, 2.2 serve receive passing efficiency) led the defense.

Next up was a strong Ridgewater College squad. The Cyclones lost: 12-25, 14-25, 18-25. Allison Nash (6 kills) led the offense and Kayla Manthei (10 digs, 2 aces, 2.1 serve receive passing efficiency) led the defense.

By Saturday afternoon Moraine Valley bounced back to defeat a tough team from St. Clair County Community College in five sets: 22-25, 26-24, 17-25, 25-19, 15-13. This was a long match with several rallies in which Moraine Valley was able to come back late in games two and five for the narrow victory. With all that battling, it was the best match the Cyclones played all year. Trinley led the team with eight kills, 29 assists, 28 digs, and one solo block. Yerkes played well, registering 36 digs and passing a 2.7 out of serve receive. Manthei tallied 28 digs while chipping in seven kills. Alex Bojan, Nash and Flannery had 13 kills each. Morgan Hickman was a force at the net with three kills and three solo blocks. Amanda Host had 11 assists, six digs and an ace.

In the last match of the tournament, the Cyclones took on Highland Community College for the second time this year, winning soundly: 25-16, 25-15, 25-15. The team dominated to finish on a high note. It was a well-balanced attack as Nash (5 block assists), Trinley (13 assists, 3 block assists, 6 digs), Bojan (1 solo block, 5 block assists), Flannery (12 digs, 3 aces), and Hickman (4 block assists) each rang up four kills.

The Cyclones are at 15-13 overall as they come into the final stretch of the season.

October 15, 2014

Cyclones deny Scots

It was a true test Oct. 14 for well-matched teams Moraine Valley and McHenry County College. For both squads this was a chance to break their second place tie and go ahead in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference standings. The women in green prevailed with three tight sets: 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.

Some miscues and mistakes saw the Cyclones down for part of the first set until they found a rhythm and the Scots made their own errors. Alex Bojan (8 kills, 2.5 blocks), Mother Brynn Flannery (8 kills), Kayla Manthei (6 kills, 1 ace, 11 digs), and Morgan Hickman (2 kills, 2.5 blocks) all played well in the front row. Carolyn Yerkes (15 digs, 1 ace, 2.54 serve receive efficiency) and Carly Trinley (6 kills, 16 assists, 8 digs) both were strong in the back row. Collectively the Cyclones hit .256, a big improvement from previous matches.

October 10, 2014

Cyclones bounce back

The Cyclones ended a five-game skid Oct. 9 with a much needed victory over Illinois Valley Community College: 25-20, 25-15, 19-25, 25-22.

Leading the way for the win was Carly Trinley, who had 19 assists, 11 kills and five aces. Brynn Flannery put in the best hitting performance for the team last night recording nine kills on 27 swings. Setter Amanda Host had 16 assists, two aces and five digs. Kayla Manthei (eight kills) and Carolyn Yerkes once again took control in the back row with 21 and 34 digs, respectively. Kate Patnett (5 kills, 2 solo blocks, 2 block assists) and Morgan Hickman (3 kills, 2 blocks) both were strong out of the middle. This win put the Cyclones back above .500 with a handful of games left before playoffs.

October 8, 2014

Cyclones battle with Chiefs

The Cyclones regained some momentum on Oct. 7, but ultimately fell to Waubonsee Community College: 12-25, 25-23, 19-25, 14-25.

The first game was tough, but showing a lot of heart after that initial loss, Moraine Valley made a change in the lineup to a 6-2 offense which made a difference. The team came out strong and took the second game from the Chiefs. Game three was tight throughout, but Waubonsee pulled away at the end. Unfortunately, the Chiefs momentum carried over to game four and the Cyclones were unable to come back.

Despite the loss, this was the best match that Moraine Valley has played in a while. They showed toughness and played as a cohesive team. Amanda Host (18 assists, 5 digs) initially ran the offense until Carly Trinley (9 assists, 13 kills, 7 digs) came in to help out. Carolyn Yerkes (21 digs, 1 ace) and Kayla Manthei (18 digs, 1 ace) both played well in the back row. Up front in the middle, Kate Patnett (3 kills, 6 blocks) and Morgan Hickman (5 kills, 2.5 blocks) had strong games. The latter duo combined for eight kills on 19 swings with no errors.

October 6, 2014

Tough weekend for the ’Clones

The Cyclones are hitting more bumps in the road. Competing at the six-team Harper College Tournament on Oct. 4, Moraine Valley battled in three matches, but ultimately came away without a win.

The Cyclones started the day facing the hosts and were strong in game one, but lost 25-27. They missed earning the game point while ahead 24-23. For game two the team came out much slower and ended up losing 17-25. Feeling deflated, the Cyclones quickly lost the third game 11-25. Leading the team effort was Carly Trinley with 13 assists and two kills.

Next the Cyclones faced an always tough Black Hawk East team. Putting up three solid games, Moraine Valley ultimately lost: 19-25, 16-25, 20-25. Carolyn Yerkes (five kills, 11 digs) and Trinley (16 assists and 11 digs) put up good numbers in the fight.

In the last showdown, Moraine Valley took on an evenly matched Carl Sandburg College, playing five games that ended in a loss: 26-24, 9-25, 22-25, 26-24, 10-15. Besides game two, the whole match was back and forth and could have gone either way. Brynn Flannery (15 kills, 15 digs), Morgan Hickman (6 kills, 1.5 blocks) and Yerkes (24 digs) played well.

October 3, 2014

Cyclones fall to Wolves

The Cyclones are in a funk. After battling Oct. 2 with Joliet Junior College, Moraine Valley lost in five: 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 24-26, 12-15. Leading the way were Brynn Flannery (13 kills, 12 digs) and Carolyn Yerkes (34 digs, five aces, three kills).

October 1, 2014

Conference domination continues

While sporting their new jerseys, the Cyclones continued dominating conference teams Sept. 30 with a three-set win over Elgin Community College: 25-14, 25-16, 25-22. This puts Moraine Valley 4-0 in conference.

The Cyclones were in control the whole match, and everyone who suited up was able to play and contribute. Leading the way was setter Carly Trinley with 24 assists, 12 digs, three aces and a kill. Carolyn Yerkes had a great night in the back row collecting 23 digs while Brynn Flannery contributed seven kills and 17 digs and Jessica Chaput had seven kills and a solo block. Allison Nash (six kills), Alex Bojan (seven kills) and Kate Patnett (five kills on six swings) each had great nights swinging for Moraine Valley.

September 26, 2014

At mid-season, Cyclones on right track

At the halfway point in the season, the Cyclones are at a good place. Even with their latest loss to Elmhurst College JV in a scrimmage match on Sept. 25, Moraine Valley continues to play well and improve every game.

Facing the #11 ranked NCAA Division III Bluejays, the Cyclones kept things close, but ultimately ran out of gas in the third set, losing: 19-25, 18-25, 13-25.

"This was definitely eye opening for us. This was a JV team from one of the best DIII schools in the country, and we fought with them for the majority of the match. The fact that they were bigger and faster didn't make much of a difference because our defense is as good,” said head coach Mark Johnston. “I would guess that we hit a negative for the match though. Our offense hasn't really stepped up in matches when we have needed them the most, so that remains to be a concern of ours. However, I like where we are at. We know what we need to work on to be successful and to beat some of the better teams out there. We have a lot of fight in us and that alone will win us some games. If we can just strengthen some of our weaknesses and fine tune some of our strengths, we will be in great shape for the second half of the season."

September 24, 2014

Cyclones grab third conference win

The Cyclones grabbed their third conference win on Sept. 23 with an easy victory over Prairie State College: 25-18, 25-16, 25-11.

Leading the way for Moraine Valley was Brynn Flannery with 11 kills, seven digs and a solo block. Carly Trinley stepped in to set and led the team with 25 assists and three aces. Kayla Manthei moved over to Libero and recorded 15 digs while Amanda Host was strong behind the service line tallying five aces and chipping in four digs.

September 22, 2014

Cyclones take one in weekend tourney

It wasn’t the best weekend Moraine Valley has had this weekend, but not a total loss Sept. 20 when they played in a quad match at Kankakee Community College with Triton College and Columbus State College. The Cyclones went 1-for-2 in the ordeal.

Although the Cyclones had defeated Kankakee Community College a few weeks prior, they had an off night and fell in their first match to the Cavaliers: 18-25, 23-25, 22-25. Carolyn Yerkes played well with 13 digs, two kills and passed a 2.63 in serve receive. Leading the offense was Carly Trinley with 11 kills.

In the second match of the day the Cyclones lost another close one to Columbus State: 20-25, 17-25, 18-25. This was Moraine Valley’s best defensive effort of the year as Yerkes (16 digs) and Kayla Manthei (16 digs) both were strong in the back row. Alex Bojan had eight kills and five solo blocks.

The Cyclones pulled everything together in the last match of the day and soundly defeated Triton in three: 25-19, 25-16, 25-6. As a team, the Cyclones recorded 13 aces and 36 kills on 87 swings.

September 19, 2014

Cyclones lose momentum

With all their fight and talent, the Cyclones couldn’t maintain the one thing they needed, momentum, to win their Sept. 18 match against South Suburban College. Moraine Valley fell in five at home: 21-25, 25-18, 25-10, 14-25, 9-15.

The game was one of momentum, and in the end the Bulldogs had it all. Setter Bridget Ferrin had 40 assists, five digs and an ace for the night. Outsides Kayla Manthei (11 kills, 14 digs, two aces) and Carly Trinley (13 kills, nine digs) both had good nights as well. In the middle, Kate Patnett (eight kills) and Alex Bojan (six kills) were both solid. Leading the back row was libero Carolyn Yerkes with 25 digs, a 2.46 serve receive efficiency and two aces.

September 17, 2014

Ugly win for the ’Clones

The Cyclones defined winning ugly on Sept. 16, defeating College of Lake County in a four-set match: 25-16, 21-25, 25-23, and 25-14.

Posting a strong defensive effort was Carolyn Yerkes, who recorded 26 digs while playing error-free in the back row. Behind the service line, Kayla Manthei picked apart the Lake County serve receive on her way to nine aces. On offense, Kate Patnett posted the highest efficiency with a .625 hitting percentage on five kills.

September 15, 2014

Cyclone alum earns accolades at Loras College

Kara Kentner (2012-13) had an outstanding two years while competing at Moraine Valley. Her success continues at Loras College where she transferred this year. Kentner was chosen the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Performer of the Week. The setter/right-side hitting junior not only earned that honor for the week of Sept. 9, but also was one of two Duhawks chosen to the Loras College Invitational’s All-Tournament Team.

September 10, 2014

Cyclones take down Oakton

The Cyclones easily took control in their latest win on Sept. 9, defeating conference squad Oakton Community College in three: 25-19, 25-23, 25-16.

Moraine Valley controlled the match with tough serving that yielded 15 service aces led by Bridget Ferrin with five and Carolyn Yerkes with four. Ferrin was not only tough behind the line but also ran a stellar offense, posting 26 assists. Carly Trinley and Brynn Flannery had a great offensive night on the pins with 10 and seven kills, respectively. The Cyclones received tough net play from middle blocker Alex Bojan, who posted four solo blocks to help silence the Oakton offense.

September 8, 2014

Splitsville for Cyclones

There were some highs and lows this weekend (Sept. 6) in the Cyclones’ quad-match at home where they split their two matches.

The team came out strong in the first game against Sauk Valley Community College. Moraine Valley held the lead up until 19-18 before the Skyhawks called for a timeout. That interruption broke the momentum as the Cyclones eventually fell 25-21. That flat finish bled into the second where Moraine Valley lost 8-25. The Cyclones lost the final battle 17-25 but not before Morgan Hickman stuff blocked Sauk Valley’s best player twice in a row at the end of the match. Carolyn Yerkes led the way for the Cyclones with 20 digs and passing at a 2.46 in serve receive efficiency. Kate Patnett also played well with seven kills on 16 swings and two blocks.

Coming off the loss, the Cyclones were ready to face Highland Community College and defeated them in three: 25-16, 25-18, 25-19. Strong serving set the tone for the match as Kayla Manthei led the team with five aces while also passing a 2.29 in serve receive efficiency and tallying eight kills on 25 swings. Carly Trinley led the team with 10 kills while also amassing nine digs. Right behind Trinley was Patnett who totaled nine kills on 16 swings while contributing three digs and two aces.

September 5, 2014

Cyclones handle Trojans

After battling it out with Kankakee the night before, the Cyclones ripped right through Triton College on Sept. 4, handily defeating the Trojans in three: 25-19, 25-17, 25-5.

The middle hitters set the tone collecting 23 kills on 39 swings. Jessica Chaput (13 kills, three aces) and Alex Bojan (eight kills) both had solid nights. Kayla Manthei had three kills on nine swings while also leading the team with six aces. Carolyn Yerkes had a solid night defensively with 10 digs, chipping in two assists. In her Cyclone debut, Brynn Flannery had six kills on 15 swings.

September 4, 2014

Big win over Kankakee for ’Clones

With so many new players and new coaching staff, the Cyclones faced their first real test Sept. 3 against rival Kankakee Community College. In a thrilling four-set match, the Cyclones prevailed for the win: 25-21, 25-20, 17-25, 27-25.

Moraine Valley masterfully defended their home court behind the efforts of Carolyn Yerkes (22 digs) and Kayla Manthei (20 digs). The strong defense helped Bridget Ferrin (26 assists) spread out the offense to a variety of hitters. Leading the attack was Carly Trinley with 15 kills followed by Jessica Chaput with 11 and Alex Bojan with eight.

August 29, 2014

Cyclones win home opener

In their home opener Aug. 28, the Cyclones defeated Olivet Nazarene University in an organized scrimmage: 25-23, 15-25, 25-19, 25-14.

Running the offense was Bridget Ferrin with 33 assists, two blocks, two kills and an ace. Outside hitter Carly Trinley led all attackers with 13 kills and two aces. Middles Alex Bojan (10 kills, two blocks), Jessica Chaput (five kills) and Kate Patnett (five kills, one block) each had a solid game. Libero Carolyn Yerkes (four aces) and outside Kayla Manthei (two aces) both had great serving.

The team is preparing for their next tough matchup at home with Kankakee Community College on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.

August 27, 2014

Hawks no match for Cyclones

Grabbing their third win of the season on Aug. 26, the Cyclones handily defeated Malcolm X College in three: 25-17, 25-16, and 25-15.

Leading the offensive charge was Donna Killeen with five kills and Alex Bojan with eight kills. Setting the table for the offense was Carly Trinley who posted 14 assists. Killeen also chipped in five digs alongside Carolyn Yerkes’s nine to pace the Cyclones’ defensive effort. Behind the service line, Kayla Manthei led the way with three aces for the night.

The Cyclones play their first home match in the new Health, Fitness & Recreation Center this Thursday at 7 p.m. against Olivet Nazarene University.

August 24, 2014

Cyclones start season with weekend split

The Cyclones started their 2014 campaign by competing at the 19th Annual College of DuPage Invitational, Aug. 22-23, splitting the weekend.

On the first day of competition, Moraine Valley defeated the host school: 25-11, 25-16, 25-19. Leading the way was Shannon Gardner and Alex Bojan who each had four kills on five swings. Setter Carly Trinley ran the offense with 13 assists while contributing two block assists and 11 digs. Defensively, Carolyn Yerkes had a solid game, passing at a 2.57 serve receive efficiency with nine digs.

The Cyclones’ second match resulted in a forfeit thanks to an absent Riverland Community College squad. That placed Moraine Valley in a pool with Harper College as their opponent on Aug. 23.

Hitting errors plagued the Cyclones as they committed 30 through three sets for a loss against the NJCAA Division III number 10 ranked Harper: 15-25, 16-25, 19-25. Once again Bojan led (six kills on 12 swings) followed by Trinley (16 assists, eight digs) and Yerkes (nine digs and 2.67 in serve receive).

Next up was the number one ranked team, Madison College. After coming out slow for a first game loss, 11-25, the Cyclones fought their way back to take game two, 25-23. Although Moraine Valley fell in the final two sets—13-25 and 16-25—the scores were not indicative of how close they were. Kate Patnett stepped up in the middle with five kills on nine swings and also led the team with four block assists. Donna Killeen (three kills, 12 digs) and Kayla Manthei (three kills, eight digs and a 2.39 in serve receive) both had solid games as outside hitters. At Libero, Yerkes registered 21 digs while setter Trinley had 15 digs and 15 assists. Gardner received All-Tournament honors for her play at outside hitter.

August 23, 2014

Cyclones looking for continued success with new players and new coaching staff

Change is hard, but high expectations haven’t changed for the Cyclone volleyball team. With a new coaching staff and 10 newcomers on the squad, Moraine Valley has adjustments to make while keeping their eyes on more championships.

With the pressures of taking over a team that took Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and NJCAA Region IV championships as well as a trip to nationals the past two seasons, new head coach Mark Johnston is ready and excited to continue his predecessor’s winning tradition.

Johnston has been the boys’ and girls’ volleyball coach at St. Ignatius College Prep for nearly 10 years. He was primarily a setter at Lakeland College in Wisconsin, where he earned several honors and helped his team to some top finishes. Johnston has introduced a new offense and defense with the same goals as his predecessor. He’ll be joined on the sidelines by new assistant coach Thomas Ryan.

“I believe we have what it takes to win conference and ultimately earn another bid to nationals. We will be very strong on the defensive side of the ball this year. We have a very solid block and our back row play will be our biggest strength,” Johnston said. “We also have 14 athletes on the roster this year, making the team deep at every position.”

Leading the way will be the main defensive specialists—last year's Libero Kayla Manthei (Lincoln-Way North) and newcomer Carolyn Yerkes (Marist). They are going to get a lot of touches this year and happen to both be good servers as well.

Cyclones 2014 softball Conference Player of the Year and first-year Cyclone volleyball player Carly Trinley (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) and freshman Bridget Ferrin (Richards) will see a lot of time in the setting position. Trinley also is a strong attacker and passer and will be asked to contribute as a pin hitter. Ferrin has good hands and is quick on her right-back defense.

The middles are led by 6-foot-1 sophomore Alex Bojan (Guerin Prep), who was last year's second leading blocker. She is quick to the ball and covers a lot of ground when blocking. At 5’11”, sophomore Jessica Chaput (Shepard) is a smart hitter and natural blocker. Newcomers Kate Patnett (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) at 6-foot and Morgan Hickman (Stagg) at 6-foot-3 also will see a lot of time in the middle.

Jordan Kelley (Oak Forest/Prairie State) will be the pin hitter. She will see the majority of her time on the outside and is a strong hitter with good shots. Other pins will be returner Colleen Kull (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) and freshman Allison Nash (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences), who will see time on the right side. At 6-foot, Kull brings a big block on the right while Nash provides offense from the back row. Amanda Host (Tinley Park) will be the utility player and asked to play multiple positions.

“We are very deep in every position. These athletes will be able to play multiple roles on the team this year. This will make us very strong because we will be able to adjust to our opponents’ strengths and weaknesses more easily. We are going to be a very hard team to score points against,” Johnston said.

August 22, 2014

Cyclones welcome new coach

There’s been a changing of the guard for the Cyclones volleyball team. After 21 years, head coach Gloria Coughlin retired, passing the reins to Mark Johnston. And he’s happy to be here.

“I am extremely fortunate that the position was open when it was. It was great timing and too good to pass for a number of reasons,” he said. “Moraine Valley volleyball is a very successful, established program, and I plan on doing some great things here. There is a lot of volleyball talent in our district.”

Johnston has an extensive background in playing and coaching the game. He even intended to play volleyball at Moraine Valley after graduating from Eisenhower High School. Coughlin coached the short-lived men’s team, which was discontinued the year Johnston started at the college. Instead, he helped Coughlin coach the women’s team while taking classes before transferring to Lakeland College in Wisconsin. As a setter, and sometimes Libero, Johnston over the years helped his team reach fifth, third and first place finishes at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association National Tournament. He also earned Most Valuable Bench, Most Improved, Conference MVP, and All-Conference as a setter in that time.

In addition to working in the Dean’s Office at Saint Ignatius College Prep, Johnston has been the boys’ volleyball coach since 2006 and held multiple positions with the girls’ team since 2005. Since taking over the high school team, his squad has amassed a 157-135 overall record and defeated heavy-hitters Brother Rice, Loyola, Providence, St. Rita and Mt. Carmel high schools in the Chicago Catholic League.

Johnston has some big shoes to fill, as Coughlin had a 523-317 career record with two trips to the NJCAA Division II Championships, seven Coach of the Year awards and several Hall of Fame inductions. But he’s ready to step up.

“I definitely have some big shoes to fill. Gloria has been very successful here, especially in the last couple years. She is a hard but very fair coach. She ran a really tight ship here, and I have been and will be picking her brain about a lot of things,” Johnston said. “This will be new for me, but I am ready and have been waiting for a challenge like this. Now is a great time for me to make the transition from high school to college volleyball. I feel like I have been coaching long enough where I can bring a lot to this program. This is a golden opportunity for me to learn more about the game at a much more advanced level.”

As with all change, Johnston is bringing his style and feel to the court with the same high goals in mind as his predecessor.

“Change is always good in volleyball. The game is always evolving and the philosophies that I bring in will definitely be different than what the girls have done in the past. I have already introduced a new offense and defense to them. It's going to take some time for them to buy into my system,” he said. “I have always thought of volleyball as a game of chess. If the other team does this, what are we going to do about it? As long as we play smarter and harder than the other team, we are going to be very successful.”

Not only does Johnston expect a lot from his players on the court, but in the classroom as well. “My first expectation for my team will be in the classroom. They are students first. With the help from our athletic department, I will be keeping a close watch on them to make sure that they are succeeding in the classroom, getting their associate’s degree and moving on to a four-year college or university that best fits them,” he said. “On the court, I want to win our conference and ultimately earn a bid to our national tournament in Arizona. That's where they have been the last couple of years, and I don't plan on taking any steps back.”